Lesson Plan

The Caste System of Ancient India

Students are introduced to the origins and structure of the Indian caste system
Lynn S.
Dean of Student Life
The Montclair Kimberley Academy
Montclair, United States
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My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to...

explain the origins of the caste system in India

describe the rules and restrictions as they applied to each caste

generate questions about the  caste privileges and discrimination that persist in India today 


Social Studies
Grades 6 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Introduce students to the idea of the Indian caste system by showing the video at http://ed.ted.com/on/a2TmjsCk.  Following the video, discuss the "THINK" questions as a class to check for understanding.  

2 Direct Instruction -- Learning more about the caste system

Working in pairs, students read the information of the History of India website, taking notes on the origins of the castes and the rules governing each one.  

3 Guided practice -- Diagramming the caste system

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Working in pairs, students use their notes to create an infographic outlining the origin of each caste and its function, rights and restrictions.

4 Wrap-up

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Students share infographics, provide feedback and revise as needed.

Students use the infographics from the entire class to generate a list of questions they have about how the caste system does/does not function in India today.